Paper Matters Blog
Crafting Values to Attract the Next Generation

In my recent blog and Girls Who Print presentation, I spoke about the need for businesses to craft a business narrative. During that presentation, I spent a lot of time talking about the importance of discovering and articulating those values in the form of a story in order to differentiate your business. I wanted to spend some time to talk specifically about the importance of crafting values for your business

With the recent events that have occurred in the world today, crafting values is more important than ever. Defining your value and articulating them in your brand narrative has multiple benefits including amplifying thought leadership, building brand awareness, attracting new customers, and—perhaps most importantly for the printing industry—attracting top talent form the next generation.

Generational marketing is a hot topic, and for good reason. In order for the print industry to thrive, today’s printer needs to not only appeal to new generations of customers, but they also need to learn how to attract—and retain—valuable employees. But is the print industry getting it right when it comes to making connections with the next generation of professionals? Taking a hard look at how your company articulates their values may be just what sets your company apart.

  • Values are more important than causes, and they have to be authentic. According to a recent Deloitte Survey researching more than 7,700 millennials spanning 29 countries, 84% believe it is their duty to change the world.3 Because of similar stats, we’ve heard countless speakers advise printers on “finding a cause” to attract employees. The truth is, newer generations aren’t drawn to a one-off cause; they want to work for a company that shares their values—i.e. a company’s principals, beliefs and standards of behavior. They prefer building their career with a company that provides ongoing support to employees that participate in causes important to them.

To attract the next generation, spend time to dive deep and explore the unique values of your company. Then, make these values center-stage in your brand—in both the visual and voice. Once established, make sure the core brand values are communicated at every touchpoint—from company advertising, to ads for hire, to interacting with customers, to networking with peers.

  1. When Crafting Values, put emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion. Both millennials and Gen Zers are attracted to workplaces that put a focus on diversity and inclusion. In fact, 47% of millennials actively look for diversity and inclusion when sizing up potential employers. In addition to attracting the next generation, diversity in good for business too. In fact, in a worldwide study, companies with diverse leadership teams performed 53% better than their competition.

It’s also important to remember that members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations define diversity and inclusion differently that members of previous generations. Hiring people of various racial, ethnic, and gender demographics is only the starting point. Real diversity and inclusion comes from giving everyone a seat at the table and making sure they feel comfortable not just expressing their ideas and opinions, but seeing evidence that their thoughts carry equal weight to those of their counterparts.

  1. New generations of employees are loyal to companies lead by a strong, transparent leader. Although they have a reputation for disloyalty and “job-hopping,” 67% of millennials say being loyal to an employer is important to them.4 The key for an employer to tap into this loyalty is transparency—the newer generations want to understand how they fit into the big picture. Communicating company goals clearly and providing ongoing performance feedback to employees can have a significant impact on the company’s (and employee’s) success.

It’s a given that attracting and retaining new, high-performing employees is important for your business. Getting more invested in your target audience by participating in college internship and mentoring programs and exploring “outside the box” talent from programs like engineering, technology and marketing can really help expand your connections to up-and-comers. By embracing professional perspectives that may differ from those of previous generations, you’ll open your business to whole new era of opportunities—and success.

1. Future of Work, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ 2018 Survey, 2018.
2. Millennials: Fueling the Experience Economy, Eventbrite, 2014.
3. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018, Deloitte, 2018.
4. 5 Things We Know Millennials Want From A Job, Forbes, 2017.

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Nicholas Pearson
Marketing Specialist
Meredith Collins
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Danielle Sinclair
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Customer Marketing Manager
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Domtar Paper
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